Rafael Nadalthe king of clay, will announce this Thursday whether or not he will play for a 15th crown this year Roland Garrosso the tennis world holds its breath, fearing that the Spaniard could reveal worse news due to his battered physique.
The verdict will be known from 11 in Argentina, in a press conference organized at the academy that Nadal has in his Majorca native.
“Whether or not he will play at Roland Garros will be communicated later, as well as the reasons why he decides one thing or another,” according to the brief note sent to the media on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old Spaniard (he will turn 37 on June 3) has been fighting against time for weeks to try to get back on track in the gravel lap, the most important on the calendar for him.
To announce that he will not be competing at Roland Garros, It would be the first time he has not participated in the tournament since 2005, the year of his debut in Paris and his first title. Since then he adds 112 wins and only three losses (2009, 2015 and 2021), plus a withdrawal in 2016 during the race with a left wrist injury.
Nadal has not competed since his injury iliopsoas of the left leg during the Australian Open in January, in which he was fired in the second round against the American Mackenzie McDonald.
Initially the injury would have kept him out for six to eight weeks, but recovery times lengthened and he had to give up consecutive clay tournaments in which he forged his legend: Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome. .. and now Paris?
Last year he arrived moved and was champion
It wouldn’t be the first time that Nadal hasn’t arrived in the best preparation conditions at Roland Garros. Without going any further, he won the Musketeers Cup for the 14th time in his career in 2022 despite him playing incognito with his left foot, where he suffered from his youth due to Müller-Weiss syndrome.
He then added his 22nd Grand Slam tournament, a men’s tennis record he now shares with Novak Djokovic, since the Serbian won over Australia earlier this year. It was hoped that Paris could offer a stage for the tiebreaker.
But his possible defeat at Roland Garros would go further and inevitably reignite speculation about the future of his career and an eventual retirement from the sport.
The Spanish press remained cautious this Thursday ahead of the announcement, although sports brand Marca said the Majorcan will likely communicate he won’t be in Paris, in line with digital Relevo, which was the one it released Wednesday that it would be missed Roland Garros. The As newspaper, for his part, indicated that, regardless of his decision on Paris, Nadal has no intention of announcing his retirement today.
Waiting for Rafa’s word
The answer, however, only comes from the tennis player himself, who, announcing his retirement in mid-April for the Madrid tournament, has already admitted that “the evolution has not been as initially expected”.
“Although I have noticed an improvement in the last few days, I have been without being able to train at a high level for many months and the readjustment process has its times, I have no other choice but to accept them and continue working,” he said in a video posted on their social networks. network.
The months of defeats in this 2023 have plunged him to 14th place in the ATP. On March 20, he dropped out of the “Top 10” chart for the first time since April 2005.
And his seasonal balance is starving: only one victory and four games played.
While injuries were a constant throughout his 20+ year successful career, the problems didn’t stop for a year, starting with his foot and ending with his hip, with two torn muscles in his abdomen last summer ( boreal).
In the last nine months, he has barely played thirteen games.
But even if he announces that he will play Roland Garros, Nadal would expect Everest in Paris, as he has never shown up to his fetish tournament without playing a single match on clay.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.